How Long Do Bleach Flumes stay in the Air

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Today, bleach has become the most commonly used cleaning agent in our houses. The main reason for using cleaning products that contain bleach as their main ingredient is because of their capability to clean the floor and remove harmful bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms.

When you use bleach as a cleansing agent in your house to clean the floors, walls, furniture, and other surfaces, you can feel its fumes in the room air.

This is because bleach fumes get easily mixed with room air and do not vanish quickly. In some household activities, like cleaning and polishing the furniture,they  can even stay in the room for quite a few hours.

You must have given it a thought that a chemical that is capable of killing even microorganisms must be having some ill effects on us as we are breathing the air containing its fumes.

Most people are aware of the fact that bleach is a hazardous chemical and has many ill effects on our health, but it is still the most used ingredient in cleaning products due to its easy availability and cheaper cost.

In some housekeeping activities like furnishing, polishing, and stain removal, bleach chemicals are mixed with other chemicals, and this solution produces fumes that get mixed with the room air and can be very dangerous for our skin and lungs.

We are aware that bleach is a cheaper and more efficient cleaning agent, but that does not mean it is any less harmful. In this article, we will provide necessary information on the bleach chemical,its ill effects, how long do bleach fumes stay in the air, and what can be done to get rid of these hazardous fumes.

All about Bleach Chemical

Every other house hold in U.S uses bleach as a cleaning agent on regular basis.Let us tell you what exactly is bleach chemical. Bleach is a chemical that is used for cleaning purposes at home and industries.

This chemical used for removing deep stains from fabric,floors and even whitening of the fabrics.Bleach is also used to form dye that is used for coloring fabrics.

Bleach is the formed by chemically combining sodium hydroxide and chlorine to form sodium hydrochloride.This chemical compound is used in most of the cleaning products that we use in our homes.

The cleaning property of bleach comes from chlorine which is oxidizing agent and is capable of cleaning surfaces and floors efficiently.

The bleach that is used in the cleaning products are created to have bactericidal properties.Due to these properties the cleaning products can efficiently kill the harmful bacteria and viruses .

The bleach present in these products cleans the deep stains from the surface and also remove the bacteria harmful microorganisms and pathogens.

This bleach chemical is not only used in the cleaning products that we used to clean our rooms and other surfaces but are also used in detergents which are used to wash the clothes.Even some of the sanitizer use bleach or sodium hydrochloride which is harmful chemical.

Though bleach is used in appropriate and allowed quantities in all these products but still it can cause harm to to us and our families specially kids and toddlers.Bleach can be very dangerous for skin, lungs and if its fumes are inhaled they can cause several other diseases.

How long do bleach fumes stay in the air ?

Whenever you clean, paint, or furnish your house, several chemicals are used, including the beach. These chemicals are powerful cleaning agents and also disinfect the house. They help in removing and preventing the growth of unwanted germs and microbes.

Bleach present in these chemicals is applied to walls, surfaces, and floors. The fumes of this chemical can last up to an hour in the indoor air. You can feel its odor in the air for a long time. Inhaling these toxic fumes can create several respiratory problems.

How long bleach fumes stay in the air may depend on the quantity and quality of the bleach used. If you are using products that have more bleach, then the fumes can stay in the room for hours.

Some products use other chemicals along with bleach, which can negate the harmful effects of bleach. If you are using such products, then fumes will be present for a shorter period of time in the indoor environment.

How long do bleach fumes stay in the air may also depend on the design and size of your house. If you have a big house with proper ventilation then the fumes won’t last more than an hour. Better the passage for air and sunlight in your house more easily bleach fumes will be removed from your indoor environment.

How to neutralize bleach fumes in the air ?

how to neutralize bleach fumes in the air

To make a room safe and comfortable after using bleach, you’ll want to get rid of those strong bleach fumes in the air. These fumes can be quite unpleasant and even harmful if inhaled. Here’s how you can do it in a more natural and human-friendly way:

  1. Open door and windows so that Fresh air can enter:Easiest and the most effective ways to clear out bleach fumes is to open your windows and doors. Fresh air is capable of neutralizing the effect of the harmful bleach chemical in the air
  2. Exhaust Fans:If you have exhaust fans at your home,turn them on. The purpose of the exhaust fans is remove harmful gases and chemicals out of the house. Turn on all the exhaust fans of your house . Also switch on all the ceiling and table fans in the house
  3. Use of Activated Charcoal:Activated charcoal has the capability to absorb odors and chemicals. Place some bowls of activated charcoal in your house and it will absorb the bleach fumes and hence preventing it to circulate in the room air.
  4. Baking Soda:Baking soda can also be used for eradication of bleach fumes present in the indoor environment. Sprinkle it on all the floors and surfaces where you applied bleach and wait for an hour.After an hour you will the odor of bleach has gone and baking soda has done its job.
  5. Air Purifiers:Air purifiers have HEPA filter and charcoal filter . Charcoal filter can remove gaseous pollutants and VOC’s and can be very helpful to remove the bleach fumes from the air and provide a safe environment.
  6. Wear Mask:If you need to be in a room where bleach was used, don’t forget to protect yourself. There are several respiratory problems them caused due to inhaling bleach fumes, you must wear a mask for a few hours in the room where bleach was used.
  7. Must Read the Instructions on the Product :If you are using bleach directly then you must read the instructions mentioned on the back of the product.Always wear mask and goggles while using bleach . If there is some polishing or other renovation work being done at your house avoid going to that room .

Can smelling bleach harm you ?

Bleach, which is the most common ingredient in our household cleaning products, contains the chemical sodium hydrochloride.

This chemical is very harmful and can have serious effects on your health. Below are some of the ill effects of inhaling bleach fumes.

  1. Respiratory problems: Breathing bleach fumes might provoke coughing fits, make you sneeze uncontrollably, and leave your throat feeling scratchy and uncomfortable. If you already have respirator issues like asthma etc. then it can make the situation worse.
  2. Corrosive in nature: Bleach is strong oxidizer and corrosive in nature, Inhaling its fumes can cause irritation to your ,nose ,throat and even the lungs.
  3. Can cause Chemical Burns: If, by chance, sodium hydrochloride makes direct contact with your skin or eyes while you’re breathing it in, you could experience chemical burns. These aren’t your typical scrapes; they can be quite painful and may require a trip to the doctor’s office.
  4. Can create overall health issues: Inhaling bleach fumes can harm not only your respiratory organs but can enter your bloodstream and have effects throughout your body. This might bring on a headache, make you feel queasy, and even provoke some vomiting. In more serious scenarios, it can harm your internal organs – a real health scare.

What to do when you inhale bleach ?

If you by mistake inhale bleach fumes and feeling irritation then the best option is to consult a doctor and explain him/her about the problem.We do not suggest to try anything on your own or by reading somewhere.

The doctor would be the right person who can guide and help you in this situation.


How long bleach fumes stay in the air depends on the amount of bleach used and how strong the bleach is. In normal cases, bleach fumes can last up to 1-2 hours in an indoor environment. The duration also depends on the size of the house and how good its ventilation is.

Inhaling bleach fumes causes respiratory problems and skin irritation. If, due to some work at your house, bleach is being used, we recommend wearing a mask until its fumes disappear.

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